I loved the study of mythology when I was a kid. Those ancient tales were full of gods, centaurs, one-eyed giants, dashing heroes, and massive sea creatures.
The word myth- is defined as : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone. For instance, in the picture above, ancient sailors believed in the myths of a giant octopus that could swallow up their ships if they sailed too far into uncharted territories.
These myths passed down from older and supposedly wiser seamen kept many from achieving their dreams of finding new routes to new markets. Instead, they remained stuck in the old and poorly designed routes followed by generations of sailing ships. Of course, some bold navigators, scoffed at the myths and they charted new routes to immensely profitable new markets.
They refused to believe the myths.
If you are going to become the person you were intended to be, you must confront the myths of personal inadequacy.
Here some of the most popular ones:
- Teachers and parents are always right
- Job descriptions are inclusive and accurate
- Academic degrees are barometers of success
- Past failures are character definitions
- Experience trumps creativity
Which of these myths has kept you from reaching for your dream? Recognize them for the limiting beliefs that they are. Whichever one you choose, there are plenty of people who succeeded in spite of facing that very challenge.
I love the story of Albert Einstein. His early childhood teachers thought him to be ignorant and sent him home from school with a note to his mother telling her not to send him back. When the boy asked his mother what the note said she replied, “They wrote… you are too intelligent and creative to attend our limited school and I should keep you home to allow you to blossom at a quicker rate.” She did keep him home and his genius eventually changed the world. Those teachers were wrong! Are you letting the opinion of a long-ago teacher or parent limit you today? Recognize it for the myth it is and get started achieving your dream.
It’s time to quit living in the haze of mythology and move forward in full confidence that you have what it takes to succeed.
When I was in high school there was a beautiful girl I had a crush on. I never tried to date her, because I felt she was out of my league. Every day, I sat by her in class and we became good friends, but I secretly wanted more. I never told her. I watched someone else date her and eventually marry her. Many years later, I learned that she was secretly hoping I would ask her out on a date. I was devasted. I could have asked her out, but I never did. I missed the opportunity to see what might have become of our relationship. Luckily for me, I asked out the next beautiful girl I got interested in and she’s now my wife.
Are you limiting your life because you feel inadequate? Have you accepted a lessor role in life and business because you decided in advance that you are not up to the challenge of a new opportunity? Did you fail to submit your name for consideration when that higher-level position opened up at work? Do you “chicken out” of asking that attractive person on a date? Did you fail to sign up for the courses you really want to take in college, because you didn’t think you were smart enough? These are all habits found in the lives of unsuccessful and unfulfilled people. They don’t do the things mentioned, because they fear they won’t succeed, and even worse, they fear they don’t have what it takes to succeed. The tragedy is that such feelings are lies. You don’t know what you can do until you try. There are powers and skills within you that you haven’t even discovered yet.
Reasons why we feel inadequate:
- We doubt our training.
- We doubt our skills.
- We doubt our experience.
- We doubt our worthiness.
- We doubt our vision.
- We doubt our connections.
- We doubt ourselves.
It’s time to change all that “stinking thinking” right here and now. Decide there is more in you than you have manifested up to now. Decide to go for whatever and whoever you want in life. Start assuming that who you are is enough. Let the people you want to impress make their own decisions about you. Let potential new employers or new girlfriends make up their own minds about you, instead of rejecting yourself before they get the chance. Stop limiting yourself.
In my next blog, I’ll tackle some of the myths of inadequacy, but for now, stop your doubting and start going after who and what you want.